Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Freezing out feds on the payroll front

While they haven’t had much success, some in Congress are calling for a federal pay freeze for Fiscal Year 2011.

Some efforts may be election-year tough talk from those riding the wave of anti-government sentiment. Co-sponsors of one recently tabled measure, for example—Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla.—are both up for reelection. So is Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who is expected to carry the banner for another freeze effort in the House.

Part of the argument for a freeze is that many workers in the private sector are accepting flat or reduced wages during this tough economic period, and feds should be expected to do the same. Others hinge their argument on the well-worn line about “overpaid feds.” Still others simply argue that government has gotten too big and expensive.

On the other hand, many feds feel that their annual raises help to close the “pay gap” that exists between salaries for similar jobs in the private and federal sectors. Many federal employees—and state and municipal workers, for that matter—believe they are simply convenient scapegoats in hard times.

Since they are working on the inside, it seems feds themselves may be in the best position offer suggestions on how to trim federal spending.

The floor is open for suggestions.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on May 28, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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